A very warm welcome and welcome back to 2016 for the Somerset Community. Over this week we had 182 new students begin their journey at the College and we certainly hope theirs will be as rewarding as ours. We started the year with a record enrolment of 1,485 from Pre-Prep to Year 12.
There has been dramatic growth over the past few years and now we return in 2016 to near completion of the new Sports Facilities that I’m sure you are as excited about as we are! The new facilities are a direct result of this considered growth and your support. Thank you.
We welcomed the following new staff:
Mr Ash Abdou (Class of 1990) - Head of Department - Mathematics
Ms Melissa Black - Teacher - Junior School
Mr Brad Cates - Teacher - Junior School
Miss Emma Lowden – GAP Staff
Mr Ryan Martin – Kitchen Hand
Mr Dean Perkiss – Head Chef
Mrs Samantha Powell - Teacher Assistant - Junior School
Miss Kiani Raklander - AFL Internship
Mrs Elke Schneider - Teacher - Senior School
Ms Rachel Skyring - Teacher - Junior School
Ms Vicky Speight - Teacher - Junior School
Mr Ben Turner (Class of 1996) - Teacher - Senior School; and
welcome back to Mrs Sandy Berghofer, Mr Richard Gazal, Mrs Jane Gazal, Mr Stewart Moore, Mr Isao Kamei and Mr Tim Fisher.
There have been a number of changes to responsibilities this year:
Mr Paul Evans - Acting Head of Department - Business and Humanities
Mrs Margaret Kiddle - Pre-Prep Director
Miss Bronwyn Lee - Head of House – Andrews
Mr Stewart Moore – Assistant Head of Department – Business and Humanities
Ms Selena Muscat - Assistant Head of Department - Design
Mr Dallas O'Brien - Head of Department - Design
Mrs Sarah White - Assistant Head of Department - Foreign Languages
On a bittersweet note, I am delighted to tell you that Dr Andrew Cousins has been appointed as Director of Teaching and Learning at Presbyterian Ladies College, Perth from the start of next term.
Dr Cousins has been a wonderful colleague and teacher on so many levels since joining the College in 1999, starting as a Science teacher before assuming the Head of Department role in 2006. He was then appointed as Dean of Middle Years in 2008 before assuming his current role as Dean of Teaching and Learning in 2014.
We will miss him greatly but this a wonderful career opportunity for him to embrace another organisation and take it forward as he has done here. It is an exciting time for the Cousins family as they venture west and we wish Andrew, Jo, James and Georgie all the richest blessings in this move.
With Dr Cousins resigning his position, I have taken the opportunity to look at responsibilities around the Deputy Headmaster and Deans of Teaching and Learning and Middle Years. With the changes coming in a few years as part of the QCAA review of Senior Studies the responsibilities of the Academic Counsellor will also change as the QCS and OP systems disappear.
After discussions with the College Leadership Team, I have decided that the current roles of Dean of Teaching and Learning and Academic Counsellor will be redundant at the end of first term. Two new positions will be created.
The Dean of Studies will assume the responsibilities of the Academic Counsellor and also take on data analysis of student and staff performance, leadership of its use, and all diagnostic testing. This will be a CLT position.
I am delighted to announce that Mrs Karen Crowley has accepted my offer of this new position and membership of the CLT. Mrs Crowley’s experience, success and work ethic over the past few years in her second stint at Somerset makes this appointment both well-deserved and logical. The Strategic Plan has data driven decisions at its heart so we must have someone to continue the excellent start Dr Cousins has given us and Mrs Crowley deservedly enjoys the confidence of so many students, parents and staff at the College.
The Head of Curriculum Services will co-ordinate Senior School reporting, construct mark books, construct the timetable including alternative versions, co-ordinate replacement staff in the Senior School, construct duty rosters and co-ordinate the weekly Senior School calendar. This position will work closely with the Deputy Headmaster, Dean of Middle Years and Dean of Studies.
The Deputy Headmaster and Dean of Middle Years will take on some changes to their roles in lieu of those that have moved to the other two positions.
As part of the changes we made two years ago to find alternative pathways, we had 19 students complete an external Business Diploma.
This enabled them to be given a rank score equivalent to an OP 9 for tertiary entrance purposes. There are 27 similarly enrolled this year. Therefore, over 80% of our students were treated as OP1 to 10 for tertiary entrance. Likewise, with bonus points for other subjects, 17.1% of the cohort were treated as OP 1s for tertiary entrance purposes. The most common OP score over the past 20 years continues to be an OP1, there’s only one other school that could claim this.
I look forward to meeting all parents at the Parents' and Friends' Celebration of the New School Year - Welcome to 2016 on Friday 5 February 2016 from 6.30pm to 9.00pm in Towers Quad. This function is a wonderful opportunity for parents new to the College and those returning to meet each other and the staff.
Please make this highlight function a priority on your calendar!